March 8th, 2011


Why the Proposed Budget Sucks

This popped up in one of my activist lists today.  Remember, when money is needed, it should come out of the largest stockpiles, not the smallest.

 Top 10 Worst Things about the Republicans' Immoral Budget

This week, Congress could cut a deal on the budget. And if Republicans
get their way, billions will be cut from vital programs that millions of
Americans count on--while tax cuts for the richest are protected.

But most people don't have any idea what's at stake--and how devastating
these cuts would be to their communities--even though the cuts could take
effect within weeks. So we're launching an emergency campaign to spread
the word. Republicans want to gut programs with enormous public support,
and hope no one notices. So it's up to all of us to spark a public outcry
before it's too late.
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Ancient Horrors of War

I have long been intrigued by history.  I knew about some forms of chemical warfare, such as Greek fire, and smoke bombs or screens.  But that's a whole different concept from using poisonous gas or toxic fumes to kill people.  Apparently, the Persians did use acidic smoke in tunnel combat.  Wow.  That is wicked clever.

My early fantasy writing included an invading force using young dragons on leashes to fill tunnels with toxic gasses.
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Bonobos: The Nicer Side of Primate Life

I like this article about bonobos.  It points out that they are very similar to humans and to chimpanzees -- except they don't share thsoe species' tendency toward violence.  Instead they are tolerant, and more inclined to relieve stress with sociosexual activity than with fighting.  (We might consider that greater tolerance of sexual activity creates a more peaceful and pleasant society.  So, maybe things like gay marriage could indirectly lower the crime rate.)

I would really like to run a three-way genetic comparison between chimpanzees, bonobos, and humans to look for overlaps and differences.  That might help identify any genes that contribute toward the bonobos' nonviolence or chimpanzees' and humans' violence. 

Torn World Story Progress

Today I submitted the stories "The Ties We Twine" and "Lookbacks" to Torn World.  "The Ties We Twine" tells how Karavai's age-set comes together.  "Lookbacks" is about Fala and her age-mates playing a game with nuts.  These are the last two stories intended for consideration in the forthcoming anthology Family Ties and Tattered Skies.  (I have some other family-oriented stories, but they are darker in tone and/or not close enough to completion.)  Deadline for that anthology is March 10 if anyone else is still working on stuff for it.  Anything new that makes it into the anthology will be released first as part of that book, then later reprinted on the main website.  Whatever doesn't make it into that anthology will probably be released on the main site for supporters only.

Also currently in front of the canon board: "The Sky Rangers," "Clouds in the Morning," "Squiggles: Excerpts from Nleimen's Journals," "On the Rocks," "Cutting Time," "One Toy for Three," "One-Tick Literature," "Words Between Brothers" (fiction) and "The Sugar Mouse" (poem).

In revision at home: "Water Dance" and "Like Ash Before the Wind."

Drafted and waiting for revision: "Cutting Cords and Clasping Hands."

Partly written: "From Dark to Bright."

An Example of Internalized Oppression

I was disturbed by this article about a Cree community banning traditional Cree religious activities in an attempt to pressure Cree people into practicing only Christianity.  This is an example of internalized oppression, where the mainstream culture's efforts at cultural genocide have succeeded to the point where some members of an indigenous tribe are now helping to stamp out their own heritage.  I hate it when oppression works.  It's bad enough when European-descended people trample on native beliefs, but when the tribal people are doing it to themselves, that's even worse.

I believe that all people should be free to practice whatever spiritual tradition(s) they find to be constructive in their lives, and should not be shortchanged on their own beliefs for the sake of pleasing someone else.